Wednesday 14 October 2020

Free Pantry Storage Ideas.

 Have you always wanted your pantry to be more organised but don't have the money for new storage solutions ?  If your answering " yes " then I'm hearing you.  Lots of people post photos of their pantries on social media and you just know the look they have has cost a small fortune.   Don't get me wrong,  I love to see how others organise their kitchens but not everyone has spare money for functionality.

Here are some free organising solutions that won't cost you a cent.  Some of these ideas I've used in the past,  others I continue to use even today.  Not only are they free,  you can recycle what you already have and use in your home.

*  Ice cream containers.  When I was a young mum I didn't have spare money for more pantry storage solutions.  Icecream containers I had in abundance.  I just can't bring myself to throw them out.  I used the containers for baking ( biscuit / cake ) storage,  lolly / broken Easter egg storage,  dried bread crumbs, and packet mixes.

*  Glass coffee jars of all sizes.  This is a fairly new storage solution I've been using.  I had a few of these jars stored in my garden shed waiting for a use.  I'd purchased them from an op shop for $2 each.  When I started to get rid of the plastic in my pantry,  I advertised on my local Buy Swap Sell Facebook group asking for Moccona coffee jars. Lots of people were happy to give them to me.  In return I gave my handmade greeting cards as a swap.  I even had return ' customers'. The coffee jars come in 4 sizes and offer a great airtight seal. I use them to store sugars,  milk powder,  nuts,  bread making ingredients and snacks.

*  Jam jars or pasta sauce jars.  I use glass jam jars for storing all my herbs and spices.  The pasta sauce jars are slightly bigger and great for storing homemade mixes like gravy powder mix,  french onion soup mix and taco seasoning mix.  I have a couple of friends who gave me jam jars and a some were purchased for 25 cents each from op shops.

*  Oblong plastic icecream containers.  These are the ones icecream shops use in their display cabinets.  If you can get your hands on these they make great storage for packet mixes.  I've also used them in the fridge for storing fruit when the veggie crisper was full.

*  Biscuit tins.  Just about everyone gets a biscuit tin full of shortbread biscuits at Christmas.  Wash,  dry and reuse for many different things.  I use them for storing plastic cutlery ( the few bits we still have ),  storing birthday candles and decorations,  lollies and chocolates.

Here are examples of how I've transformed my pantry for free.

Jam jar uses

Moccona coffee jar uses

More Moccona coffee jars

Oblong icecream containers

Packet mixes organised

Baking and herbs organised.

Pasta sauce and jam jar uses.

Have you found ways to organise your pantry for free ?


  1. This is so good Wendy! We have got free large plastic food grade buckets and they have good lids that seal. Restaurants and cafes often have them and they give them away. Very good for bulk items. Mainly I use jars. Some I paid 50c and $1 for over the years but many free. I love them. You have some lovely ones. I have also used contact to cover boxes. Another is baskets. I have collected a lot (op shop mainly) and they look very nice filled with all sorts of things. I also would rather spend the money on food and stock than the containers but containers of quality are important. Lucky we can get those really cheap or free! And it is fun to collect! xxx

  2. Beautiful Wendy!
    Sarah :)

  3. Yay for jars! I save all the pickle jars & lids. Run them through the dishwasher so the smell goes away. They are about a quart-size so hold alot. I use them for chocolate chips, made-from-scratch mixes, dry-good storage. I get palm shortening in 5# buckets. I save those for wheat berries and beans.
    I also keep the nicer, heavier plastic shopping bags and use those to store washed lettuce wrapped in damp tea towels, in the fridge. Lettuce keeps for at least 2-3 weeks that way.

  4. I am steering away from glass as there have been so many accidents of late. Last week saw a box fall from the top shelf and there was glass everywhere as well as olive oil and vinegars. The kitchen floor was well dressed and scrubbed. I tend to reuse containers especially when sending things to my children. Their cupboards are black holes for plastic containers.

    I do love the look of glass. Everything is visible. It keeps out rodents etc and plastic has been known to allow vermin tog now their way through. I have heard of peppers who have lost a lot of stock from those pesky creatures.

  5. My pantry is not nearly as organised as yours, but I use similar things to help corral everything into some sort of order - recycled coffee jars, old ice-cream containers and a small box (a bit like a magazine holder) to hold packet mixtures. I am very short on cupboard space, so I am constantly on the look-out for anything that will help me fit more into the space I do have.

  6. Those are great ideas! The coffee jars are fabulous. So wish we had those here! I use jars like you do and the occasional plastic piece that fills a need. I also repurpose baskets and use boxes of all sizes. I am currently reusing a round cardboard oatmeal container to hold pre-made quick oatmeal packets. The plastic storage containers I have were bought years ago and most of the jars are either reused from store bought products or given to me by friends and family who know I love to reuse jars :)

  7. Loved your tips Wendy!

    I use jars in my pantry too. I have a friend that supplies me with those large coffee jars. I also pick them up cheaply in op shops.

    I like the idea of the oblong ice-cream containers, they would fit nicely in spaces. I have used those long fridge trays bought from Big W. I also use the buckets Annabel mentioned. These are placed on the pantry floor under the shelving and I store all sorts of stuff in them. I have previously had a pantry moth infestation so I decided to use the buckets because they have a great seal on them. We are friends with a fish and chip shop owner and he supplies us with the buckets.

    Wishing you a lovely week, hope the restrictions are lifting now the cases have dropped.


  8. Those are lovely coffee jars. Here in Canada coffe is sold in plastic jars or bags. I won't use plastic. So I store in canning jars. Love your blog even though we have opposite seasons. We are now closing up our growing season. Soon it'll be cold. We live in a warmer part of Canada. So we don't get as cold as the rest like Quebec and Manitoba. But we still go as cold as minus 10 celcius. We live in south west Nova Scotia. Most of the winter it hovers around zero Celsius. Check out my blog Spring Peeper Farm.


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